1989 has been a year of impressive maturation for the NES platform, but Baseball Stars really shows how far along the console—and console gaming as a whole—have come since the early days.

Sure, it’s another baseball game, but this one is packed with customization, season and career progression simulation, and even a business management aspect. All of this is saved to one of those newfangled lithium batteries… you know, like the ones previously used only for massive timesink RPGs.

This is a meaty take on baseball, offering the depth of a PC coaching sim but the snappy immediacy of a console sports game. It’s pretty much an all-time classic, and easily the single best console baseball game ever seen to this point in history.

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